While some firms in the thin film business are struggling to find sustainable prices for their modules, in the face of stiff price competition from crystalline-silicon rivals, TSMC is pursuing its plans to fine tune its processes and slowly ramp production at its relatively new CIGS fab in Taiwan.
Todays announcement that 14.2% modules are rolling off its lines is a sign that progress is continuing to be made. In the announcement, TSMC has indicated that modules with an efficiency of 13% are being "consistently achieved" at the fab. As such, TSMS TS CIGS Series modules has been upgraded to 130W 140W.
"These significant improvements achieved since entering pilot production in March of this year demonstrate our ability to make rapid technology advancements. We are confident that our focus on technology improvement will enable us to continue driving efficiencies significantly higher for the next few years," said Ying-Chen Chao, President of TSMC Solar, in a statement announcing the efficiency milestones.
Earlier this year, TSMC executives revealed to pv magazine that its fab is currently tooled for 100 MW of production and is not pursuing plans to ramp up quickly, given current market conditions. The eventual plan is to achieve GW-scale production by 2016.
TSMC started shipping modules in April of this year and has supplied clients in Germany, Italy, the U.S., China and India. The company is currently getting its modules into fields and onto roofs in a range of climatic conditions, to prove a track record for its black, CIGS modules. In June, TSMC told pv magazine that new buildings from its TSMC semiconductor parent company will also have modules installed on them to accelerate this process.
San Francisco Bay Area company Stion licensed its semiconductor technology to TSMC in 2011, in a US$50 million deal. Stion itself is ramping production at its Mississippi production facility.
TSMC will be exhibiting at Solar Power International in Orlando this September 11 to 13, and at the EU PVSEC in Frankfurt from September 25 to 28.